Indians love their weddings and more importantly, it is a very emotional and larger than life union of relatives and friends. Indian weddings are extremely elaborate, diverse and can be tremendously stressful as families give it all to put up the best possible experience for everyone attending this event. Brides and Groom, on the other hand, have another story to tell. We are trying to cover the most common wedding rituals in different parts of India as it differs from region to region.
Kannadigas prefer to follow traditions and they absolutely take pride in it. They prefer a subtle ceremony rather than a flashy and loud program and then runs for weeks.The rituals vary slightly in different regions and among various communities of Karnataka, but the basic structure of the entire event remains the same. Kannada weddings are relatively short and share many rituals with neighboring states like Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
Pre Wedding Rituals
Nischay Tamulam : Nischay Tamulam is the kadda equivalent of an engagement ceremony. Parents of the groom visit the bride’s place and offer her a saree, blouse piece, coconut and sweets. The bride’s parents also visit the groom’s house to gift him dhoti, coconut, fruits and sweets. The date of the marriage is generally decided by the priest during this event.
Naandi : Basically a pooja where prayers are made for a smooth upcoming wedding ceremony. First Invitation card is presented to the god almighty for the blessings. traditional kalash filled with holy water is placed with a coconut on top, beginning of the wedding celebrations.
Kaashi Yatre : Kannadigas know how to have fun traditionally, Groom pretends to become angry as no one is searching a suitable bride for him and he would leave for Kaashi for a piligrimage with a marching stick and a shoti. Now the family has to convince him to stop. Usually the maternal uncle supported by the entire family convinces not to leave and presents the bride that has been chosen for him. It’s a high energy ritual and soul of the kanndiga wedding.
DevKarya : Pooja done by the groom before leaving the house on the wedding day to seek blessings from god and elders.
It Begins with greeting the groom’s family and relatives at the gates traditonally with Aarti, This is followed by Madap Puja, Var Puja, Jaimala, Dhareherdu similar to Kanyadaan and it all ends with Saptapadi where the nuptial knot is tied between the ends of the bride and groom’s attires signifying an unfailing bond established between two souls.After the Saptapadi the couple sits down, with the bride sitting on the groom’s left and the groom ties the mangalsutra around the bride’s neck assisted by five Sumangalis or married women. This officially concludes the wedding.
Bridal Wedding Attire : The wedding attire of the bride is highly ornamental. She wears a traditional 9 yards long Naavari Saree. They wear green glass bangles along with the saree and are similar with Maharashtrian bride in this respect. The bride wears gold jewelry like Mangtika, several gold necklaces, jhumka in her ears along with Kamarbandh around her waist. She does her hair in the traditional high bun and plait style and decorates them with a lot of flowers. In Balija community the bride wears a white saree with brightly colored borders. Kannadiga brides from Coorg region wear brightly colored brocade sarees draped in typical coorgi style. Reception makeup is usually grand but not over the top while Muhurtham Makeup is kept subtle with more attention on Hair and Saree.
Tags : Kannadiga Bride , Kannada Bride, South Indian Bride, Indian Bride , Coorgi Bride, Mangalore Bride, Bangalore Bride
Tamilians are known for their simple living and great education. Tamil culture is vast and very detailed. For them spiritual symbolism is paramount rather than any fancy show. They take their weddings very seriously and at the same time there are fun filled moments when the realtives reunite. Tamil weddings, also known as Kalyanam, take place during the day of all months of the Tamilian calendar except Aashad, Bhadrapad and Shunya.
NakshatraPorutham – Horoscopes or nakshatrams are matched . Wedding date and precise moment for the wedding is finalized.
Marriage Agreement– The marriage agreement is drafted next by the priests on both sides once the marriage is finalized
Panda Kaal Muhurtham – The two families visit a temple or may organize a special puja at one of the homes, and pray to the Almighty so that the wedding may happen without any obstacles.
Sumangali Prarthanai – This is a special puja directed towards the Sumangalis or married women who take part during various rituals of the wedding. They are also treated with special lunch.
Pallikal Thellichal – Pots are decorated with vermillion and sandalwood paste. Inside each pot, nine different types of grains or navadhaanyam are placed along with a bit of curd.
Vrutham – This ritual takes place at the groom’s place, This day signifies transition of the groom from the Bachelorhood or Brahmacharya phase of life to Domestic or Garhasthaya phase.
Naandi Shraddham – A day before arrival of groom’s family and bride’s venue. An Brahmins are invited over who take part in a ritual.
Nishchayathram – This is the formal engagement ceremony in case of a Tamil wedding.
Lagna Pathirikai – Denotes announcement of weeding. The family priests after consulting the couple’s horoscopes come up with the most auspicious moment of carrying out the wedding which is written in the patrika
Bridal Wedding Attire :
The Tamil Bride are all about beauty and elegance. Brides are draped with Kajeevaram Silk sarees in bright colors paired with gorgeous-looking jewelry, In case of Brahmin brides, the Kanjeevaram sarees are generally 9-yards long while in case of non-Brahmins it is 6-yards. The saree is worn in the traditional Madisar style. The bride has to change her gorgeous sarees mutiple times.The Tamil bride wears a lot of gold jewelry passed through generations. She wears special gold and precious stone set jewelry known as Jadainagam in the shape of a cobra over her plaits, which is believed to be symbolic of the bride’s fertility. Ornament worrn around the waist is called as Oddiyanam, Made of gold with temple designs and is used to keep the saree borders and garlands in place. On her hair, along with the traditional tamilmangtika made of gold, stones and pearls, the Tamil bride also wears Nethi on both sides of the central hair parting. She generally wears a number of necklaces in multiple layers around her neck, gold bangles, and diamond nosepins. Makeup is preferred to be subtle and natural while some young brides look for detailed eye makeup and ofcourse matching foundation.
Tags : Tamil Bride , Tam Brahm, Tamil Wedding, South Indian Bride, South Indian Wedding
One of the best things about Telugu weddings is wife/Bride is given utmost importance in the society. She isthe ardhangini or the better half of her husband. No Religious ritual is complete without her presence. It’s basically a Matriarchal society
Muhurtam ritual takes place, in which the auspicious time is decided for conducting the wedding. Next is Pendlikoothuru ritual, wherein oil and turmeric is applied liberally to the bride, post which she is given a bath. After this the Snathakam ritual is observed, as per which a silver thread is worn by the groom. This is followed by the fun filled ritual of Kashi Yatra, as per which the groom pretends to leave for Kashi but he is interrupted by the bride’s brother, who promises to give him his sister in the alliance.On the day of the wedding, the bride and the groom perform the Mangala Snaanam ritual, in which they take holy purifying bath.
In the mandap, the bride is brought by her maternal uncle. The couple has a curtain between them as the priest recited mantras. After this, the Kanyadaan ritual is performed by the father of the bride. He washes the feet of the groom and gives his daughter to him. The curtain is removed at the time of tying the Mangalsutra ritual.
The groom goes ahead and ties the mighty mangalsutra around the bride’s neck with 3 knots. The couple exchanges garlands and are showered by flowers and yellow colored rice. This is called Kanya Daan Akshata ceremony. Next, the Saptapadi ritual takes place, wherein the couple takes seven rounds and vows around the sacred fire. Subsequently, the groom slips silver toe rings on bride’s feet. This ritual is called Sthaalipaakam.
Bridal Wedding Attire:
The Telugu wedding bridal dress is a fun of nine yards drape with heavy golden border and south Indian design embossed on the traditional silk sarees to mark the wedding occasion.The Telugu bride has to change her attire frequently for different rituals.Colorful bangles, heavy gold temple jewelry adorning the bride from head to toe which has antique finishing and depiction of gods and goddesses forms an important part of bridal attire.Flowers are extensively used in hair. Telegu bride makeup is depicted as to look like a goddess with usually bright eyes with elaborate eye makeup.
Tags :Telegu Bride, Andhra Bride, South Indian Bride, South Indian Wedding
Malayalee Wedding Rituals
The Malayalee wedding customs are simplistic. The ritual lasts for a short period known as the ‘Muhurtham’. The close relatives and friends of the bride side and the groom’s side come together to celebrate the rituals and enjoy every moment.
Horoscope matching is an essential part of Malayalee Wedding .Astrologer is consulted and compatibility between the man and woman is checked. If all goes well then an auspicious date or muhurtham is selected.Nischayam is mainly an engagement ceremony, in which the elders make the announcement to their family friends and relatives about their child`s engagement. Interestingly, the would be bride and groom do not witness this occasion. This is followed by a traditional feast a day before the wedding.
Madhuparkam : A warm welcome is given to the groom and the family, Typically bride’s father washes groom’s feet. The groom presents his father-in-law an off white color sari that the bride wears for the weddings.
Veli : The holy fire is named Veli around which the actual wedding takes place. After the couple takes three rounds around the fire, the groom ties the `Taali` that is strung on the yellow thread around the bride`s neck. After this ceremony Kanyadaanam or Penkoda ceremonies take place, in which the bride`s father hands over the bride to the groom.
Sparsham : The end of Kanyadaanam ritual is followed by Sparsham. As a part of this ritual, the groom is made to sit in front of the bride. He is asked to tilt his head backwards, so as to touch his wife`s forehead. . The groom is then asked to lift his wife`s foot and place it on the Ammi (grinding stone). It represents the breaking of old ties.
Sadhya :After the Veli ceremony, their marriage is declared. The party is arranged at the venue after the traditional feast called Sadhya which always follow the rituals of Malayalee marriage.
Wedding Attire :
In a Malayalee marriage, typically the girl wears a two-piece sari, known as Mundu. The bride is adorned with flowers and jewelery.An usual Malayali wedding sees the bride decked in about 320 grams of gold jewelery on an average,The gold bangles preferred these days are the Kolkata bangles, machine-cut bangles and thoda bangles. Among earrings it is the jhimkkis that occupy pride of place. In necklaces, the more famous ones are the Kingini mala, manga mala, kaasu Mala, lakshmi mala and mulla motu mala. Also preferred are toe rings and the kolusu. Makeup of the bride is usually kept subtle.
North Indian Hindu Wedding Rituals
Marriages, according to Hindu beliefs are made in heaven, and once you are married, the bond is supposed to last for seven lifetimes. The rituals are heavily impacted by the region to region and it is hard to mention all of them. Eight different types of marriages are recognized by the ancient Hindus. Four of them were categorized as ‘Prashasta’ or proper marriages conducted by following appropriate religious customs. The remaining four were considered as ‘Aprashasta’, which referred to inappropriate unions between man and woman that did not follow any Vedic or religious ritual.
The various types of Prashasta marriages are Brahma,Daiva,Arsha,Prajapatya, Gandharva ,Asura,Rakshasha and Paishacha. The last three weddings are abhored and religiously not accepted. For example in Paishacha wedding the groom forces himself upon the bride first and then accepts her as his bride.
The key progression of Hindu weddings are Kanyadaan and Paanigrahan, Vivaah Homa, Laja Homa and Agni Pradakshina, and finally Saptapadi according to Grihya sutras. Other rituals vary according to regional cultures but these are the key steps of a Hindu Marriage without which the marriage would not be considered complete. Traditionally, the bride’s parents host the wedding ceremony and the groom and his family are the guests arriving from outside to the Mandap. All this is followed by Vidaai, During the Vidaai ceremony the family of the bride gives her an emotional send-off and the bride throws back three handfuls of rice and coin over her shoulders to signify end of her debt to her parents for nurturing her and wishing prosperity upon them.
Wedding Attire :
Again there are massive changes in the attire depending on region to region. A Red Benarasee Saree or a heavy Lehanga is ususally worn with tons of jewellary, extensive Mehandi and fully decked up makeup with details in hairstyle. Hindu North Indian Bride is all about festivity, symbolism , fashion and tradition all mixed into one. Makeup Artist loves them.
Islam is one of the prominent religions in the world with over 1.6 billion zealous followers of the religion. Wedding is an integral part of Islamic culture and are mandated by the Holy Quran as one of the primary duties of a Muslim.
Salatul Ishtikara – Arranged marriages are prevalent among Indian Muslims and the matches are generally sought within the same religious sect and communities. Once a match have been finalized by the families who deem each other compatible, the religious head or the Imam of the nearby mosque is intimated and he performs a special prayer where he seeks Allah’s consent for the intended union and asks Him to bless the future couple. This marks the official announcement of the marriage to the community.
Imam Zamin – Following the Ishtikara, the groom’s mother, on an auspicious day, visits the bride’s home carrying gifts and sweets. She also carries a gold or silver coin wrapped inside a silk scarf which she ties around her future daughter-in-law’s wrists.
Mangni – Mangni marks the official engagement ceremony between the bride and groom and their respective families. Close friends and relatives from both the families gather on a pre-determined day to witness the bride and groom exchange rings.
Manjha – This is certainly an adopted ritual within the Muslim wedding practices in India. A day or two before the actual Nikah ceremony, the bride is dressed up in yellow finery. A paste made of Turmeric, sandalwood and rose-water is applied to the bride’s face, hands and feet.
Mehendi – Middle-eastern and Indo-Pakistani Muslim brides observe an elaborate ritual involving henna paste known as Mehendi. It is again a women-centric event, where the women of the family gather around the bride the evening before the wedding.
Sanchaq – During this pre-wedding ritual, members of the groom’s family visit the bride’s place bearing gifts for her from her future in-laws. Along with these gifts of sweets, fruits etc., the bridal outfit to be worn at the time of the Nikah are also sent.
Nikah – The Wedding or Nikah ceremony is officiated by a religious priest or Maulvi. The men and the women are seated in separate groups for the ceremony. The women generally take their place around the bride and the men with the groom. The father of the bride is appointed Wali or guardian to look after the bride’s interest in the Nikah by the Maulvi. The groom’s family presents the bride with Mehr which is a generally pre-decided amount of cash to seek her consent for marrying the groom. The Maulvi starts the Nikah proceeding by first saying a prayer from the Quraan. Next, he asks the bride if she is consenting to marry the groom by accepting the Mehr. This is where he asks the bride the phrase ‘Qubool Hain?’ (Do you give your consent) three times in a row. The bride has to reply by saying “Qubool Hain” in assertive and affirmative tone all three times. Then the Maulvi moves on to the groom and repeats the procedure. This ritual is known as Ijab-e-Qubool. The bride and groom are to remain separated from each other so that they are not able to see each other. The Ijab-e-Qubool is followed by signing of the Nikahnama or marriage contract.
Arsi Mushraf – During this ritual the couple get the chance to lay eyes on each other for the first time after the marriage has been solemnized. A mirror is kept between the bride and the groom and the Holy Quran is placed on top of it. The couple is to look in the mirror where they can see the reflection of their spouses. This is followed by Ruksath ritual which is essentially Vidaai or send off of the bride.
The wedding attire for Muslim bride is outlined in the Holy Quran. . Salwar Kameez is hence the top choice for Muslim brides when it comes to wedding attires. Apart from Salwar Kameez, saree or Sharara are also quite popular choices. Salwar Kameez has to have modest necklines and a dupatta to cover the bride’s head at all times. Green is considered to be the most auspicious color in Islam and bridal outfits in green color are most popular. The outfithas zari embroidery and designs. Bride wears a host of ornaments made of gold and precious stones. Necklaces, earrings and bangles are some of the most common ornaments. The Muslim bride has to wear a nose ring on the right side of her face that needs to be replaced by a nose pin after she is married. The nose pin in the right side of the nose is compulsory for married Muslim women. One key piece of jewelry that is identified with Muslim brides is a Jhoomar or Pasa. A Triangular or fan-shaped ornament which is sort of the modified version of the Mang Tika, is attached to the hair but on one side of the hairstyle, preferably the left side. She may or may not wear an actual Mang Tika with the Pasa.
Like North Indian bride extensive makeup is done especially the famous cut and crease eye look with bright matching colors.
The Bengali weddings are celebrations of colour, relationshipd and beauty . They forgo the showing off, keeping the roots firmly on traditional elements. They are elaborate affairs with celebrations spanning for 2-3 days from morning till night.
Paka Katha or Pati Potro–This ritual refers to a formal meeting between the elders of the bride’s and groom’s families to formally agree on the different facets of the marriage. Paka Dekha is the term used by the Ghotis while Pati Potro happens among the Bangals.
Aiburobhat– This is sort of a version of Bridal shower followed by sumptous feast
Sankha Porano – The bride is made to wear traditional Bengali symbols of marital bliss, the Sankha which is bangle made from Conch Shells, and Pola Bangles made from red Corals, on the evening before the wedding day.
Jol Sowa–On the morning of the wedding day, mother of the bride and groom is accompanied by few married women of the family to the nearest water body to fill a brass pitcher in their respective neighbourhood. This water is to be used to bathe the bride or groom after their Gaye Holud ceremony.
Dodhi Mangal – The bride and the groom are fed with a mixture made of sweet curd, rice flakes, banana and sweets like sandesh in copious quantity before sunrise. This is their last meal of the day as they would have to fast until the wedding rituals are complete.
Birddhi Puja– The father or other male relative of both bride and groom perform this ritual in their respective homes. Sanskrit hymns are chanted and offering are made to the past seven generations of paternal ancestor to appease their souls and seek their blessings.
Gaye Holud and Tattwa–A turmeric paste made from grinding fresh turmeric with mustard oil is applied on the groom’s body by his mother and other married female relatives. He is then bathed with the water procured in the morning.
Bor Jatri and Boron–The groom starts from his house after receiving his mother’s blessings, in a specially decorated car sent by the bride’s family, towards the wedding venue, accompanied by few of his friends and elderly male relatives. These people accompanying the groom or Bor are known as Bor Jatri. Upon reaching the wedding venue, the Groom and the Bor Jatri are received with much enthusiasm amidst blowing of conch shells and ululations.
The elders from bride’s side take their turns in blessing the groom and presenting him with expensive gifts of jewelry, cash or even watches. The same procedure is repeated by the elders accompanying the groom with the bride where they bless her and present her with pieces of jewelry.
Saat Paak and Subho Drishti– The groom is brought into the wedd
Go to Top
ing mandap known as Chhadnatolla and an initial puja is performed along with the person who will do the Kanya Sampradan. The groom is then asked to change into his Jor. After he is back to mandap, the bride is seated in a wooden platform known as piri and is carried by 4-5 young male members of her family to the mandap, all the while she hides her face from view with the help of a couple of betel leaves. The bride is supposed to circumambulate around the groom seven times aided by the male relatives carrying her. This is known as Saat Paak. The bride and groom are then placed in front of each other. The bride removes the betel leaves and the two set their eyes on each other, amidst hooting, and sounds of conch shells and ululations. This is known as Subho Drishti.
Mala Badal– The couple then exchange their garland in a ritual known as Mala Bodol. A fun element is added when the relatives of both bride and the groom hoist them up to make it difficult to reach. A lot of competitive fun and laughter ensues.
Kanya Sampradan– The bride is then brought into the Chhadnatolla, where she is seated opposite to the groom and an elderly male member of the bride’s family unite their hands and it is bound by sacred thread, and the priest chants the mantras whereby the bride is officially given away to the groom.
Hom– The bride and the groom then sit beside each other in front of the sacred fire while the priest utters Vedic mantras which they dutifully repeat after.
Saptapadi– The priest ties a knot between the end of the bride’s saree and the grooms shawl. The couple then have to go around the fire seven times, while uttering the seven sacred vows.
Lajanjali/Kusumdinge– The bride’s brother puts puffed rice into her hands, the groom joins her hands from behind and together they pour the offering in the fire.
Sindoor Daan– Sindoor is applied on the bride hair partition and then he covers her head with a new saree known as the Lajjabastra.
Tags: Bengali Bride, North Indian Bride, Indian Bride